Google Buys Aardvark for $50 Million
Google Inc. has confirmed reports that it purchased Aardvark, a free question-and-answer web site, for a reported $50 million, continuing its strategy to add users by snapping up services companies.
Reports first surfaced in December in a number of IT publications and web sites that a deal between the two companies was in the works.
Aardvark co-founder Damon Horowitz publicly confirmed the acquisition late last week and Google subsequently began mentioning it in blog entries.
In a blog post, Google director of product management Johanna Wright called Aardvark a "unique technology company that lets you quickly and easily tap into the knowledge and experience of your friends and extended network of contacts."
In 2007, Horowitz and three former Google employees founded Aardvark as a way for users to ask questions on line and receive answers from other users, sort of a peer-to-peer information bureau on an unlimited array of subjects.
The New York Times, in a February 5th article on the company, called it a "search engine that relies on humans."
As of last October, Aardvark said it had some 90,000 users. With the acquisition, Aardvark said that it will operate as part of the Google family of products, new users can still sign up, and that it had already been incorporated into Google Labs.